Norwin boys use clutch free-throw shooting to hold off McKeesport
By Dave Mackall
Published: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, 11:18 p.m.
Norwin used some down time during the holiday break to work on the finer points of its game.
Apparently, foul shooting was on the list.
Curtis Perz scored 21 points, and Norwin, which didn't participate in a Christmas-break boys basketball tournament, hit six consecutive free throws in the final 1:07 to hold off visiting McKeesport, 67-63, on Thursday night in a WPIAL Class AAAA nonsection game.
“We had some extra time and we used it to focus hard on our offense,” Norwin coach Lynn Washowich said. “It looked a lot better tonight than it has in some of our games.”
The foul shooting gained some momentum, too. Norwin finished 15 for 23 from the line, but was 12 for 14 in the second half, including 8 for 8 in the fourth quarter.
Zach Bryan added 18 points, including four free throws during the critical stretch — two with 9.1 seconds left to seal the victory — for Norwin (5-5), which won its third game in a row.
McKeesport (3-6) has lost four by four points or fewer.
“We'll keep trying to figure it out,” McKeesport coach Corey Gadson said. “It's very frustrating.”
Norwin played just one game during a 10-day stretch — a 63-56 victory over Class AAA Greensburg Salem on Dec. 23 — and Washowich used the extra practice time as a camp atmosphere.
“We probably should have worked on our defense, too,” said Washowich, a McKeesport native whose parents still live in the city. “We had trouble stopping them in transition.
“It was a game of runs. At one point, it looked like we were going to put them away. Then, all of a sudden, they're up by four.”
McKeesport trailed Norwin, 19-7, early on but managed to hold a 36-35 halftime lead on the strength of a 13-1 run to start the second quarter.
Norwin built a 49-39 advantage on a tip-in by Alex Haas with 3:58 left in the third quarter before McKeesport stormed back in the fourth and went ahead 55-54 on a basket by Khalil Perdue with 4:01 to go.
The Tigers' lead reached 58-54 on 1 of 2 free throws by William Gadson before Perz sank his third 3-pointer of the game to cut the deficit to 58-57.
Logan Deri's layup knotted the score at 61-61, then Bryan hit a pair of free throws with 1:07 left to give Norwin the lead for good 63-61, and the Knights, with the help of their accuracy at the free-throw line, stayed one step of ahead of the Tigers the rest of the way.
Perdue led McKeesport with 21 points and Gadson added 14 for the Tigers, who host winless Woodland Hills (0-9) Friday night in a Section 2-AAAA game.
“Every team is so even, it seems,” Corey Gadson said. “We keep making little mistakes at critical times. We forget plays. You have to come to play every night.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Karns City girls basketball team wins D-9 title again
- Free-throw shooting keys Fox Chapel’s opening-round win
- Karns City’s defense shines in PIAA first-round victory